New analysis: what’s happening in Medicon Valley?

Record-high exports, rising employment numbers, large acquisitions and hopes for a new blockbuster drug from Novo Nordisk are all indications of stable and positive developments in the life science companies in Medicon Valley. A new report feels the pulse of one of Europe’s strongest life science clusters.

A new analysis by Medicon Valley Alliance sheds light on the current affairs of Medicon Valley, one of Europe’s strongest life science clusters. Get some of the highlights here.

Record-high life science exports

“Life science exports from Denmark and Sweden have hit an all-time high. Danish life science exports are now worth close to 106 billion DKK, having more than doubled over the past ten years. Swedish life science exports have also reached a record high after rising 10.6% in 2018 to the equivalent of 65 billion DKK”
- State of Medicon Valley 2019

China took over Germany’s place as Sweden’s largest export market. While China is also a growing market for the Danish life science industry, the US remains Denmark’s largest export market.

Sharp rise in patent applications

The number of Danish patent applications in the life sciences to the European Patent Office (EPO) rose 10% last year to 699 life science patent applications. The greatest increase was in pharmaceuticals, although most patents are still sought for biotechnology.

Swedish patent applications rose by 4% to 373 patents requests – most were in biotech – but medical technology continues to dominate.

“Greater Copenhagen, and Medicon Valley in particular, offer international life science companies, investors and talent great business opportunities. With its close collaboration between industry, academia and the public sector and Scandinavia’s best knowledge transfer between the public and the private sector, Medicon Valley provides excellent R&D opportunities”
- Anette Steenberg, Investment Promotion Director, Copenhagen Capacity

Beacons of research and innovation

Medicon Valley’s major pharmaceutical and biotech companies are not the only ones making strong progress. The beacons of research and innovation are shining brighter.

  • The materials research facility MAX IV in Lund is in operation.
  • European Spallation Source in Lund, whose data centre is in Copenhagen, will open its doors to the first researchers in 2023.
  • The BioInnovation Institute is moving along at Copenhagen Bio Science Park
  • Medicon Village in Lund and Medeon Science Park in Malmö are adding on.
  • Ideon Science park in Lund is also growing.

The four fields of research to generate the largest number of scientific publications in the life sciences in Medicon Valley from 2006-2016 were Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Endocrinology & Metabolism, Oncology, and Neuroscience.

Employment rate on the rise 

44,000 people are employed at Medicon Valley’s life science companies according to the latest statistics from 2017 – equivalent to 3.4 per cent increase in one year.

Medicon Valley’s number one life science municipality is Gladsaxe (Bagsværd), close to Copenhagen, with 8,600 life science employees. Leading companies include Novo Nordisk’s headquarters as well as the sister company Novozymes.

The second-largest municipality in terms of life science employees is Copenha¬gen with 6,400 employees, closely followed by Ballerup with 6,000 employees. In Sweden, Malmö is the principal municipality for the life sciences with its 2,000 employees.

Discover life science opportunities in Medicon Valley

If you want to know more about your business opportunities in Greater Copenhagen’s life science cluster Medicon Valley, please contact Niels Thun Andersen, Senior Investment Manager – Life Science, via email: or phone: 0045 30 62 74 27.